OU Party Time

Athens OH party 08-31-2014I’ve been working late at the Athens County Historical Society and Museum office. Athens, Ohio, is the home of Ohio University, once known as a top-ranked party school. (If it’s been down-graded, I’d hate to see what the top 10 looks like.)

There are several bars to the left of me; there’s a bar across the street from me, and there’s a bar and a rental house with a kazillion people in it on the right side.

The female voices that echo off the surrounding buildings are hitting frequencies that I thought only dogs could hear (and just short of that which would break glass). I haven’t heard the equivalent of the male voices since a camping trip on Fisheating Creek during alligator mating season. It’s not even the music that is earsplitting. It’s the cacophony of voices. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Words don’t do it justice

I shot the Saturday night video when I was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot about one in the morning. It’ll give you an idea what Court Street sounded like. I sent the video to CHS Buddy Jim Stone, who had been in town dropping Son Oliver off for class earlier.

His reaction: “Gee. Oliver said they were having movie night in their new apartment with perhaps a few games of chess.”

Party in progress

Athens OH party 08-31-2014When I drove down Court Street, Athens’ main North-South drag late Sunday afternoon, I spotted the party in the first photo two doors down from the office. I couldn’t resist.

When I walked up, there was a guy with a cellphone camera taking a picture of a couple of his friends. “Would you like to get in the photo?” is always a good icebreaker. The next thing I knew, half the party crowded into the photo.

Got an internship?

Athens OH party 08-31-2014A kid came up to me and said, “I saw you flipping cameras back and forth. Are you a pro?” I handed him a business card and told him what I do now.

He wanted to know if I took on interns. I said that I was a Florida guy writing about MO in the middle ’60s and Ohio in the late ’60s, so I didn’t know how well he’d fit in.

“Are you a nark?”

Athens OH party 08-31-2014The next guy asked, “Are you a nark?”

The last time that question was raised, I told him, was in about 1974. I was at a big group of partying young folks about to be chased out by the sheriff when I saw a guy pointing at me and asking his buddy, “Think he’s a nark?”

“You gotta be kidding,” his buddy observed. “He’s too straight-looking to be a nark.”

“I love Athens”

Athens OH party 08-31-2014Another kid said he was from Detroit and “loved Athens.”

“If you are somewhere and mention that you went to school in Athens, it’s like you have a bond.”

Curator Jessica and I had talked about that. Athens’ uptown shopping area, bars and restaurants are adjacent to campus and everything is within walking distance, so a lot of students don’t have cars. It’s also a relatively isolated area not close to any major population centers. A lot of students come from places like Cleveland and Akron that are too far away for a casual weekend commute, so they hang out in town and grow close to it.

That’s a lot different from Cape, where the SEMO campus is nowhere near the shopping areas and St. Louis is an easy two-hour drive. The university and town treat each other with benign neglect.

What’s with the pointing thing?

Athens OH party 08-31-2014So, what’s with the pointing gesture thing that shows up in so many pictures. It’s something I’ve not run into before.

Monday morning, I showed up at a local diner for breakfast. There was a blonde at the table across from me who must have been one of those who attended a Sunday night party because I could see her eyeballs throbbing all the way across the room. I think if a server had dropped a tray of plates behind her, her head would have exploded.

Interestingly enough, the streets were quiet and almost deserted Monday night. I guess even OU students can stand only such much partying.

 

 

Making Pictures After Dark

Athens Court Street 09-01-2014I rolled back into Cape about 10 p.m., too tired to unload the van and computer equipment, so you’re going to get one of the last photos I took in Athens and one on the way out of Kentucky.

We emphasized to our workshop folks that just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean that you have to put your camera away. The last thing I did before leaving town was to go up to the Athens Diner for a late supper.

On the way back to the car, I thought I’d practice what I had been preaching and see if I could make a night shot in a two-block walk. I took a couple of pictures, but I like this one because of the guy in the upstairs window on the right. He looked like he was juggling a pizza box. Click on the photo to make it larger.

Kentucky sunset over cornfield

KY sunset 09-02-2014I was driving into the setting sun and saw several situations that were neat, but I couldn’t get a clear shot of them. That’s when I noticed that the best picture was alongside and behind me. I waited until I saw a stretch of road that had a break in the trees and a wide enough shoulder to pull off.

The result was a strange collection of clouds over a cornfield.

 

Then and Kind of Now Exhibit

Cyrus photo of KLS exhibit 07-14-2014_oI mentioned in a couple of posts that Curator Jessica of the Athens County Historical Society & Museum had put in some hurry-up requests for photos she could exhibit. I started bugging her for photos to prove that she had actually put together exhibits using the pictures.

Cyrus Moore III shot a panorama of the panoramas of Athens, Ohio, I took from the Radio and TV building last fall to go along with some cityscapes I had taken in 1969. I was pleased with the way they played off each other. If I remember correctly, the panoramas were about four feet wide and were made up of five or six frames stitched together with Photoshop doing all the heavy lifting. Something that used to take hours in the darkroom is done in about a minute in the computer.

Athens train station

Ken Steinhoff photo exhibit Athens County Historical Society Musuem 07-14-2014Jessica and company did a nice job pulling together my photos of the Athens train station to go with a couple of older shots. I spent quite a few hours at that station going to and from Cape by rail and waiting for boxes from Railway Express. The building is still there and is in good condition.

Train station today

Athens train station 01-24-2013I wish more of the old train stations could have been maintained this well.

Court Street

Ken Steinhoff photo exhibit Athens County Historical Society Musuem 07-14-2014Court Street is one of two main streets in uptown Athens. Jessica’s photos picked up some bad reflections from the plexiglass, but you can still get a sense that most of the buildings have stayed the same over the past 100+ years.

I posted the whole set of photos I sent her to consider if you’d like to see better examples of them.

That looks like the same spot

Ken Steinhoff photo exhibit Athens County Historical Society Musuem 07-14-2014One of her interns said, “That looks like it was taken from the same spot,” referring to the photo at the bottom of Curator Jessica and Carol Towarnicky walking to lunch on a snowy day in October of last year. I didn’t take the top photo, but I bet the photographer was, like me, on that corner killing time waiting for the light to change.

A display with spirit

Ken Steinhoff photo exhibit Athens County Historical Society Musuem 07-14-2014I mentioned the other day the hurry-up request for photos of the first beers being served at the student union back in 1969. She threw up this window display to help promote the Historic Tavern Tours the museum does as part of the 9th Annual Ohio Brew Week Festival.

You can see better examples of the photos here.

Passes the meter maid test

Ken Steinhoff photo exhibit Athens County Historical Society Musuem 07-14-2014Jessica says she knows her displays works when the meter maid stops to check it out.

 

Beware Curators with Cookies

Sign on Richland Ave 10-26-2013My Road Warriorettes have been coming through in a big way. A big box of cookies from Curator Jessica from the Athens County Historical Society and Museum arrived last week. This week it was a package of the best peanut brittle in the world that Anne Rodgers picked up on her way through Marianna, FL., on her move to Texas.

I got a text from Jessica this afternoon: “Awake?” She knows that I am a frequent napper, so she always checks before calling. When I gave her the OK, she made some small talk, then said, “OK, now for the bad news.”

I wondered if she was going to tell me that this sign was for her. I wasn’t looking forward to breaking in a new Curator Jessica. No, it wasn’t that.

 No chance to take it easy

Athens Train Depot c 1968Then, I figured we had been turned down for a grant we had applied for. Nope, No news on that front.

“We’re taking down your Friends on Robinson Road exhibit on Monday, and we hoped you had something that we could replace it with.”

The first time I met Curator Jessica, I was about three hours out of Athens when she called to ask if I could pull off a major exhibit on Martin Luther King’s National Day of Mourning in three weeks. I liked her spirit, and we did it.

Three weeks is doable, but three days is stretching it, cookies or no cookies.

A tailor in 1968

F.R. Richey - Tailor - 12-21-1968We agreed that one that focused on Athens downtown landmarks, particularly where I could contrast photos from the late ’60s and early ’70s with contemporary pictures would be something quick to pull off. That’s why you get to see tailor Frank Richey looking our over Court street on December 21, 1968.

Frank’s building in 2013

Court Street 02-27-2013Frank is long gone, but the building his shop was in survives.

So, instead of a normal post, you’re going to see a huge data dump of the photos we’re considering. We figure the 100-plus photos here will cut down to about 30 when all is said and done. Not shown are two panoramas I shot last fall. They are going to be almost four feet wide by about 10 inches tall.

Waiting for Anne to call

Peanut brittle from Anne Rodgers 06-16-2014_6439If I see Anne’s Caller ID show up on my phone, I’m going to be slow to pick up. No telling what she’s going to want me to do for my package of peanut brittle.

Athens, Ohio, photo gallery

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Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.